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J Biol Chem. 1989 May 25;264(15):8451-4.

The expression of prothymosin alpha gene in T lymphocytes and leukemic lymphoid cells is tied to lymphocyte proliferation.

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  • 1Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Santiago, Spain.


We isolated the cDNA for human prothymosin alpha (ProT alpha) from a human peripheral T-cell library using two synthetic oligonucleotides as probes. Hybridization studies with this cDNA showed that the ProT alpha mRNA is detectable in all the rat tissues studied but is most abundant in thymus and within this gland mainly synthesized by thymocytes. In the T-cell lineage, its expression is higher in proliferative immature thymocytes than in pre- and post-thymic T lymphocytes. A quite similar pattern was obtained with the proliferation-related protein proliferating cell nuclear antigen/cyclin. These data show that ProT alpha mRNA levels change with the maturation stage of T-cells. Moreover, the amount of ProT alpha transcript is increased in lymphocytes from human patients with leukemias. Our findings indicate a role for ProT alpha linked to lymphocyte proliferation.

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